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Dear Princess, Number 10 (Summer 1999) | Timeless Truths Publications

Our Appointment: The Prudent Wife of Tomorrow

Laura S. Erickson

“A prudent wife is from the LORD.”* (Proverbs 19:14)

Dear Sisters,

It is so much easier to address this as a letter to you, so I hope you won’t mind the personal touch it gives. This is directed to you, as my sisters in the Lord, that we would walk worthy of our calling: as Princesses of the Heavenly King.

We find ourselves in the changing years of youth with its perplexities and trials, dreams and joys. It is often that we find our feelings and will oppose each other, troubles and trials abound, and the future seems very large and uncertain. Yet, on the other hand, there is the joy of youth’s vitality, carefree and sunshine-spanned days where everything looks bright. The command is “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth.”* (Ecclesiastes 12:1) And as we seek to obey, we are beset with questions: What is my responsibility? Which way is right? Where is the Lord leading? Where is my place? I have had opportunity to think about the subject of our place before marriage lately, and I want to pass on the insights the Lord has blessed me with (often through others).

God’s Plan for Marriage

What is God’s way for marriage and the preparation for it? We read several verses in our family devotions not long ago that touched upon this very subject. First of all we looked at the first man and wife in Genesis 2:18-24. It is interesting to note that God had Adam name the animals first. He got to study them, saw their relationships to each other, but came out lacking a personal companion of his own. The Lord brought him to see a need, and then filled it. It was to be a partnership of two becoming one. She would be his helpmeet, his compliment, and his missing half. It is God’s design that we would seek Him to supply our needs, and especially such an important one as this. We can surely see this is contrary to the world’s way of handling it. They look to fill the lack in their own wisdom and strength, but the outward appearance and understanding of man is greatly limited. No wonder so many marriages have crashed upon the rocks!

In Proverbs 19:14, we touch upon an important truth. Fathers may pass on an inheritance of earthly riches, but it is the Lord who supplies the prudent wife. He is the one who can see to the heart and give this most priceless of gifts.

Reading in Malachi 2:13-15, we can see that the marriage covenant is a great and solemn thing. It is a serious bond not to be broken. Why did God make it binding? “That he might seek a godly seed.” In this relationship of giving and receiving where each has a part, yet they are one, God has designed a place where children might be brought up for His glory. How important then that He does the choosing and planning! Let us make room for God’s way.

So where do we fit in? What is our responsibility? We are tomorrow’s “prudent wives,” Lord willing, and we need to prepare for that place.

Our Preparation: In God’s Hands

If we are to be given (i.e., “from the Lord”), we need to be first of all in His hands. Are you in God’s hands, submitted to the molding of the Potter? I challenge you to seek this place of total consecration and surrender of your will to His. It is dying, surrendering, sacrificing. It is peace and joy and rest. It is being led of the Spirit and walking in the Light. Would you keep back yourself from the One who gave His life for you? Would you deny your Lord His right to your life? Will you not return your all to the One who gave it to begin with?

My life is now not mine, but my Savior’s—is this transfer of ownership of great loss to me? No, certainly not! But without realizing it, don’t we often feel so? Is death to this one desire of such a great consequence after all? Oh, that we would see a higher perspective here! In the center of the Potter’s wheel is the only place a fit vessel is formed. Will you yield to His touch, O clay? Though the refining is through fire, it brings forth the pure gold.

The Benefits of a Consecrated Life

When we are in the Master’s hand, we are in a place of protection and usefulness. Protected because God is mightier than all the power of the enemy, therefore where He is, we are safe. So we need to trust Him, because there is nothing to fear. Grow in faith, for “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”* (Hebrews 11:6) It is by faith that we can look into the future with full confidence, knowing that our Savior has gone before and prepared the way. (John 10:4) Yet there is a cautiousness we need to manifest to be sure of God’s leading before jumping into things. We need watchfulness and prudence (which I hope to go into more, farther on). It is important to always keep in close touch with our Heavenly Father, bringing every thought in subjection to Him, and hearkening unto His voice.

Now the usefulness comes in. God can only use us if we are 1) submitted to Him and 2) at the place where He wants us to be. These two areas may at times be one and the same, but there are places when we are submitted to God, and He still has to bring us to the place He has designed for us. In these times of drawing nearer to the Lord, seeking His will, and following His direction, we still have many opportunities to be a blessing.

I will give here an illustration. I felt burdened and desire to be useful to the Lord by ministering to children outside of my home. After seeking the Lord’s guidance in this area I feel led to wait. His timing is not now. His vision is higher, and He knows where I need to grow and deepen in Him first. Perhaps there are other areas of preparation also, but my place now is to learn what He wants to teach me at this time of my life. It might be serving in the home, learning new skills, growing in patience and understanding of the children I am around now. It might just be the Lord wants me to learn more about tarrying before Him, being still “to know I am God.” But whatever it may be, I am satisfied to know He is in control, and His way is best for me.

A Life to Glorify God

I have spoken here about several of the benefits of a life hid in Christ. Now I wish to bring to your attention an important concept of living wholly for God: this we do that our life may glorify Him. Whereas before we lived to please ourselves, now our chief aim should be to please our Master. In our own strength we can’t, yet we are not depending on our own strength now, but on Him to whom all power on earth and in heaven is given. It is not I that does the work, but Jesus in me. When we so abide with Him, and He in us, we can live such a life that will honor and please Him. We need to watch and pray that we do not take our eyes off the Savior. But where our treasure is, there will our heart be also. Therefore “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”* (Colossians 3:2-4)

Overcoming by Faith

We have a promise of abundant grace if we will only ask. And it is by faith we can take hold of the promise. When the trials of the day overwhelm me, or my patience has about run out, there is a treasure house of reinforcements just around the corner. It is taking the time to go apart and pray that makes all the difference.

Imagine a soldier fighting bravely for the cause, but the battle is a thick one, and his strength is running out. Do you not think if he knew of a place of refreshment he should go there for a space, and then renew the fight when he was strengthened? Or say a general who has held the fort all day against invaders, but his men are wounded and weary. Would not he call for reinforcements if he knew a whole encampment of them were just over the hill?

We, too, are soldiers and the battles are very near and very real. But our General has never yet lost a fight. The secret is to keep close to Him. Abide in Him; trust Him, for He is able. His promise is for us: “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”* (1 Corinthians 10:13) That we might say with Paul, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”* (2 Timothy 1:12)

Dear sisters, I, too, have fought battles. It is a struggle, but it pays to press on unto victory. Don’t give up when the enemy would come in like a flood to tempt and try you sorely. Stand in faith, knowing that God is able. Look to Him, seek His will, embrace His way, and the battle is nearly won. Temptations will come, but we don’t need to give in. Here is a saying I have heard from an older sister: “You can’t stop birds from flying over your head, but you don’t have to let them build a nest in your hair.” The closer we are to the Savior, the less of a struggle it will be. We have a solid foundation to stand on if our confidence is solely in God.

The reason I have delved into this topic when discussing the subject of our preparation to be prudent wives is because faith is important to our spiritual growth. Indeed, “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”* (Hebrews 11:6) It is important to have a confidence in God and a chain of victories behind us when we come to the time of entering into a marriage relationship. When we face the crucial decision of choosing a life partner, we need a consecration to God’s will as at no other time.

As I have been writing, I find this subject to cover more topics than can easily fit into an article, so I will have to summarize my thoughts some. “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.”* (1 Timothy 1:5) These three things are necessary to godliness, and our preparation for the future.

A Good Conscience and Charity

I have written at some length about the necessity of faith in God, so now I will try to briefly cover the other two. The meaning of a good conscience is one void of offense to God, at peace with Him. This is the vital link of our spiritual life and the purpose of salvation. We need to stay in close touch with God and abide in Him to maintain a good conscience. If we do not, then our love for Him will grow cold and we will sever our link to Him. So let us abide close to the Savior and keep our love hot for Him.

This is also the way for us to have a heart from whence comes charity, or pure divine love. “Love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God…. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us”* (1 John 4:7,10-12) We can see from 1 Corinthians 13 that charity is a deep, unselfish kind of love. “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil…. Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.”* (1 Corinthians 13:4-5,7-8) By God’s grace we can have this essential element for a smoothly running home, and before that, to begin a marriage rightly. This important fruit will grow in every heart that is hid with Christ in God, for He imparts it.

A Prudent Wife

Now we come to the end of the matter. Our preparation is to become a prudent wife, but what is meant by the word prudent? The meaning is primarily that quality which by carefulness and wisdom does seek to avoid evil in the consequence of an action taken. “The wise heart shall be called prudent.”* (Proverbs 16:21) “A prudent man foreseeth the evil and hideth himself.”* (Proverbs 22:3) We can see it also has to do with discretion and not vaunting of ourselves, but rather “walking humbly with [our] God.”* (Micah 6:8) It is foresight and practically applied wisdom; therefore by choosing God’s best way, we are prudent. For by submitting ourselves to God’s way, we are letting the Master director and designer prepare us to fit into His perfect plan. This truly is the only way of avoiding evil and every crooked path. This is the way of happiness in this life and in the one to come. “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”* (Proverbs 4:18)